The Starting Nine: Nationals After Lefty Reliever, Catcher At 2013 MLB Winter Meetings

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

So you're not sitting around monitoring Twitter, searching #Nats, sifting through aggregators and sorting through hundreds of random blog posts and stories about the Washington Nationals? We try to make it easy for you with "The Starting Nine," a collection of the stories you need to read...

We understand, sort of, not really, that not everyone can spend their offseason waiting around for some news on the Washington Nationals to break. So if you find yourself wondering what you missed in the last week, catch up every Monday with The Starting Nine. Nine topics/stories that will keep you in the know as far as what's going on with the nation's capital's Nats. We're also including "The Rotation" below, the Top 5 Stories from the last week on Federal Baseball...

1. In Case You've Been Out Since Friday:

• "And, actually, hold on a second. Is the contract really an overpay? McLouth was worth 2.5 wins above replacement last year for the Orioles, per FanGraphs." - "Why Nate McLouth makes sense for the Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

2. Nats Still After A Left-Handed Reliever As Winter Meetings Begin:

• "However, an American League scout said that Logan would be the best choice for the Nationals even though Logan had bone chips removed from his elbow this offseason." - "Nationals interested in several lefties for bullpen" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Their agenda does include a few items, though, and right at the top of that list is a left-handed reliever." - "Washington Nationals eye left-handers as Winter Meetings begin" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "The Nats are 'very interested' in left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty, according to a source with knowledge of the team's thinking." - "Nationals Pastime: Source: Nats 'very interested' in Eric O'Flaherty" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

3. Do Nats Need Another Middle Infielder?:

• "The evaluator pointed out that Espinosa is excellent with the glove but hasn't made any improvements with the bat." - "Nationals to give Espinosa chance to make club" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

4. Winter Meetings Previews:

• "They want a player who can play every day if Wilson Ramos misses any significant amount of time because of injuries. The team is clearly not confident with Sandy Leon and Jhonatan Solano as the backups." - "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo out to bolster bench at Winter Meetings" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "However, Rizzo is prone to making bold, unexpected moves - remember the last time Lake Buena Vista hosted the Winter Meetings..." - "Nationals Buzz: On rumors, mystery teams and improving the Nationals" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "They would like to add a veteran catcher to back up Wilson Ramos, not subjecting Jhonatan Solano to those duties for a full season." - "Washington Nationals Winter Meetings preview" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "It is where Albert Pujols ditched the St. Louis Cardinals two years ago and signed his massive contract with the Angels and where the Nationals stunned baseball by signing Jayson Werth on the eve of the 2010 meetings." - "2013 MLB winter meetings: What to watch for in Orlando" - Brian McNally, Washington Times

• "There are two teams that have better relationships with powerful agent Boras than any other teams in baseball: the Washington Nationals and the Tigers. The Nats don't need Choo." - "Wild week of deals might dim winter meetings" - Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports

• "Rizzo sees a team that, with a few small but significant tweaks, could again be a top contender in 2014." - "Washington Nationals have made their major hot-stove moves, now must shore up bench, bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The Nats will need to sift through the available arms and attack the guy or guys that they feel are the right fit." - "Nationals Pastime: We're off for Orlando" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

5. Finally A Catcher Rumor:

• "The Nationals are looking for a backup catcher. A baseball source said the Nats have interest in catcher John Buck..." - "Nats could try to add Buck as backup catcher" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

6. Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

7. Random MLB Links:

• "Lessons from the offseason thus far" - Jim Bowden, ESPN

• "Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle said on Saturday the Giants are considering Morse, but could be more interested in trading for an outfielder." - "Could Michael Morse return to the National League?" - Chase Hughes, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will soon embark on a once in a lifetime opportunity, taking part in the 2013 USO Holiday Tour..." - "Nats 1B Adam LaRoche to join USO Holiday Tour" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

8. This Is Going To Get Too Expensive For The Nats To Get Involved, Right?:

9. Still No Triple-A Skipper:

• "That leaves a question mark in Syracuse. I don't have a definite successor yet for Beasley, so I imagine this spot will be filled by someone outside of the organization." - "Triple-A Syracuse managerial vacancy still a work in progress" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports

9A. BONUS LINK: Because If You Didn't Read This, You Should Have:

• The Rotation - Top 5 Stories From The Last Week On FBB:

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